BY EMMA GEARY
Only a few weeks into the new year, it’s likely that you’ve already been inundated with diet tips, wellness tricks, and a whole list of “shoulds” to carry you into 2022. And while we’re all for self-improvement and goal setting, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by making traditional New Years’ resolutions.
This season, we’re taking a more mindful approach. In an era of self-care, we are reexamining how we set goals and ways to make them last beyond the New Years’ rush. Enter, visualization!
A buzzword of late, visualization is the practice of imagining what you want to achieve in the future. The idea is that if you spend time mindfully using all five senses to envision what you want (and get specific), it’s more likely to culminate in the year ahead. While this seems straightforward in theory, we wanted to dive deeper into what manifesting your future looks like on a daily basis. Here are a few easy ways to set goals for the year and actually achieve them.
Begin by writing out in detail what you’d like to achieve. Instead of, “I want to get my side-hustle off the ground in 2022,” set the scene with moments that look like success. Involve as many of your senses as possible!
For example, one moment imagining starting a business could be, “I want to spend slow mornings in my own studio, working with my hands in the natural sunlight to create things I love. I do not want to feel anxious about my workload, and I want to sip coffee as ideas flow freely through me.”
Having these ideas on paper is an easy way to refer to them throughout the year and keep images of your success at the forefront of your day-to-day. Brainstorm a few pages of different images that look like your goals come fully to life. When you read these again next January, you may be surprised to find how many of these scenes you’ve conjured to life.
If you’re feeling stuck, here are a few prompts to get you started:
- What will my relationships look like this year? How will I spend time with people you love? What will we talk about, and how will these moments make me feel?
- When I feel stuck, how will I work through it with self-care rituals and mindful problem-solving? What does this look like for me specifically?
- When do I feel like my most authentic, inspired, and creative self? What situations bring out this side of me, and how can I make them happen more frequently.
One of the easiest ways to slowly incorporate your goals and new habits into your life is with small, daily steps. Manifesting your future is a slow and steady process, and pacing yourself is essential to sticking with a goal instead of abandoning it within a few weeks.
Here are a few small routine changes to get you started:
- Devote one morning every weekend to your curiosities. Read up on subjects that interest you, create a mood board on Pinterest, visit a museum, or browse a market to get inspired by other local makers. This “structured free time” will allow your ideas to continue generating throughout the year, and is an easy way to work creativity into your regular schedule.
- The five-minute rule. Whether it be working out, tidying your space, or working on a project you’re avoiding, make a promise to yourself to at least spend five minutes on the task. Five minutes is all that’s required of you, but if you feel inclined to keep going, even better! This is a great way to trick the brain into getting started, which is often the hardest part.
- Block time on your calendar and honor it. It’s easy to release boundaries when it comes to prioritizing work and relationships. Strategically blocking out regular times in your week to achieve your goal will make it a more constant part of your daily life. Now for the tricky part…keep these blocks open for YOU! Try your best to prioritize this time for yourself and say “no” to meetings, events, and other tasks that are asked of you in this hour or two of time.
Check In With Yourself
Sometimes, facing the lack of progress around a goal can be the reason it falls short. Moments to check in on your progress are meant to be opportunities for mindful self-reflection. Maybe you didn’t check off everything on your list this month. That’s okay! Remember to treat yourself with gentleness and adjust accordingly as life throws new challenges your way throughout the year.
Make your check-ins fun something to look forward to. Carve out a small moment every month or quarter to take yourself on a date. Whether it be to a coffee shop with your visualization journal or sipping a glass of wine on your couch, take an opportunity to slow down and check in with yourself. In the chaos of your daily life, do you feel like you’re moving toward the person you want to be?
If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that we are resilient and can achieve anything in even the most unpredictable circumstances. Our wish for you for the year ahead is to have the confidence and time to pursue the things you love. Cheers to 2022!
Emma is a writer living in Minneapolis. When she’s not checking out a new brewery with friends or blasting Taylor Swift in her car, you can find her dreaming up ideas as the Brand + Editorial Manager at LAB.